Omari Washington has joined Clearwater as coordinator of the Green Cities initiative, which works with several river cities to bring environmental education, watershed awareness, and stewardship training to under-served communities, especially their young people.
Washington brings substantial experience with urban sustainability initiatives and environmental education programs to his new post with Clearwater. He served as an education committee co-chair for MillionTreesNYC, the signature program of former Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC 2030.
He also worked with CityScience, and with the New York Restoration Project, where he created, implemented and evaluated innovative environmental education programs in community gardens, parks and school yards, and managed a team of educators.
“As a committed urbanist, environmentalist and educator, I could not be more thrilled to be taking on this position,” said Washington, who is also currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Urban Environmental Systems Management from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.
“We are delighted to have a professional with such a strong background in sustainability initiatives to coordinate our Green Cities program,” said Peter Gross, executive director of Clearwater. Manna Jo Greene, Clearwater’s environmental director, added that,”Omari is the ideal person to grow this initiative, which was very much part of Clearwater founder Pete Seeger’s vision for the organization’s future.” The Green Cities initiative is a part of Clearwater’s environmental work under Greene’s direction.
In his new role, Washington will work with organizations and agencies such as Nubian Directions in Poughkeepsie, the Newburgh Armory Unity Center and the Peekskill Youth Bureau, and with instructors and contractors, to provide career-oriented training in green stormwater management and green building. Trainees acquire knowledge and marketable skills through hands-on work, such as building rain gardens and bioswales to beautify neighborhoods and divert stormwater from cities’ overburdened sewer systems, among other projects.
Washington, who resides in Newburgh, grew up in the MidWest and Massachusetts. He earned his undergraduate degree from Green Mountain College in Vermont.